Have you ever uninstalled an app because it’s updated too often?

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App updates can be like Christmas. New features, new content in games, perhaps a fix for that bug that has been bothering you – they’re generally worthwhile. There are of course exceptions, where the developers either break the app or make some questionable choices, but generally speaking updates are great. 

So, why did I hit uninstall on yet another app today, after seeing a new update was available?

Truth is that app updates can get bothersome. The app I uninstalled today is Great Big War Game, a game I played a lot when it first came out. I don’t play many games these days, but I’ve kept it around just in case. Thing is though, it’s 100MB. Even with a phone where storage is no issue and a 100/100Mbit connection, downloading and installing updates for it is a drag. The developer is great in that it releases updates quite frequently, so the game is a frequent visitor to my update list. Android doesn’t have a way to quickly update all apps except a few, and no way to ignore updates, so I always end up updating it. At some point, which happened to be today, having the game around wasn’t worth the hassle anymore.

I’ve done this to quite a few apps, sometimes causing me to have to re-install the app at a later point because I needed it. I have a lot of apps, so I have a lot of updates, and I like to keep on top of the ones for my core apps. Another related issue is that Android resets default actions when an app that can be tied to that action updates, causing you to have to re-confirm default actions all the time. Dolphin browser has probably had 20 updates over the last few months, each time making me check to use Dolphin as the default browser for links and bookmarks afterwards.

I’m not saying developers should update apps less frequently. Pushing updates to core users has to take priorities over not spamming casual users, period. Like always I blame Google for not making the update system a bit more intelligent, allowing you to either ignore updates for a specific app or remove it from the bulk update list. Right now the only “solution” is automatic updates, which is the last thing I want. Updates going off left and right, changing the apps I use without giving me a chance to see what changed? No thanks. The default action system also needs fixing, so that it differentiates between an app update an an app install.

So, have you ever uninstalled an update because it gets updated more often than you want to bother with?

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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.

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